Disasters

Down to Earth No. 72 March 2007

The arrival of heavy monsoon rains in Java has made life even more miserable for the thousands of people affected by the East Java mudflow disaster (see DTE 71). The Sidoardjo mudflow, referred to in Indonesian as 'Lumpur Sidoardjo', or simply 'Lusi', which first erupted in May 2006, continues unabated. It has displaced thousands of people, yet, despite overwhelming evidence of criminal negligence, the government has not taken legal action over the disaster.

Down to Earth No. 71, November 2006


The following account is by a member of DTE's staff who visited Sidoardjo in October.


Disasters can become tourist attractions and that's what has happened at the Sidoardjo mudflow in East Java.

The hot mud, which has now inundated the villages of Siring, Jatirejo, Renolenongo, Kedungbendo, Mindi, Kedungcangkring, Besuki and Pejarakan, has been turned into a new source of livelihood by some local people.

Down to Earth No. 71, November 2006


Thousands of people have been forced from their homes since May 29th, when hot mud started spurting from the ground near a gas exploration well in Sidoardjo, East Java. Over the following weeks, villages were submerged, farmland was ruined, businesses and schools closed and livelihoods lost, as the mud inundated the surrounding area. The government has done little to help, although the mud continues to flow, perhaps because the company responsible was owned by a senior member of the government.

Down to Earth No. 70, August 2006


The following report from Yogyakarta, by Ima Susilowati, starts with a personal account of the events early on May 27th 2006, then moves on to a critique of the government's emergency response from an NGO worker's perspective.


The thundering filling my ears early on May 27th is still fresh in my memory. The noise made me think of the dustbin lorry which regularly collects the rubbish.

 

Fatal chemical explosion, East Java

WALHI East Java has called for a halt to production and an investigation into PT Petrowidada following an explosion at the company's chemical plant on January 20 which resulted in two dead, 50 others severely injured, and dozens evacuated from the surrounding area. A joint investigation by WALHI East Java and other local groups has documented several past explosions.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003


Floods which have swept through Indragiri Hulu and Pelalawan have been blamed on deforestation in water catchments of the two districts in Riau. "So far, the rainfall is normal", the head of the local meteorology office told reporters. "Yet the rainfall, together with the…plundering of the forests in the province, has worsened the flood which was basically caused by the overflowing of the Kotopanjang reservoir in Kampar", he said.